World Schools Debating Championships 2010-Qatar

There is much to be said about the World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC) in Qatar that is of little interest of the general public. I assume that long tedious descriptions of each debate would result in nothing but instant boredom in the majority of readers. Therefore I will try at least to briefly outline some of the more interesting miscellanea of my visit to Qatar.

The first thing you notice upon arrival to Doha (the capital city of Qatar) is the boasting majestic look of everything. The roads are wide the buildings are huge and everything is beautifully polished. It is therefore impossible not to see that this country is overwhelmingly rich. The vast resources of natural gas allow the emir to immediately realise all of his wishes.

The wealth of this country made this particular Championship special. Normally debaters get accommodated in a better dormitory or an acceptable hotel. This time we got to enjoy the 5-star luxury. Everything was organized perfectly as was expected given the country’s great reputation in this area.

Debatewise the competition was great as well. We got to debate against two teams that later managed to break into the quarter-finals: New Zealand and Slovenia and also against Wales who were semi-finalists. The problem was that we only scored one win out of eight debates. It is understandable to lose to the world elite but we could have done better. The worst moment of the championship for us came when we were defeated by Mongolia, a really unexpected twist of events. Aside from that I believe we did a good job but our opponents always did a better one.

Before boring you even more I will mention the motions at the Championships so that you could have an idea what it was all about. There were four prepared motions having to do with nuclear non/proliferation, military intervention in Somalia, terrorist-suspects trials and marital abuse. The impromptu motions which were announced just an hour before the debate were easier. There were four of them as well having to do with compulsory physical education in schools, quotas on the number of women in the government, environment protection in developing countries and doping in sports.

You can see that debating is a great way how to expand your knowledge and get to know nice places. Those of you who became interested feel free to join the debate club. You might be, with a little bit of training and luck, able to become a member of the Slovak National Team for the next WSDC in Scotland in August 2011. And if that fails the Slovak Debating League is a good competition too.

Matej Kohár

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